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Scratchbuilders!: Armor/AFV
This is a group for armor scratchbuilding questions, topics and projects.
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How to scratch the headlights?
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South Australia, Australia
Joined: January 09, 2002
KitMaker: 1,958 posts
Armorama: 1,003 posts
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2002 - 08:23 AM UTC
Hi Guys,
IŽd like to know how do you make your headlights, I mean, how do you improve the lights on the model...
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Florida, United States
Joined: February 08, 2002
KitMaker: 45 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2002 - 09:00 AM UTC
A lot of guys are going with MV lenses. Just drill out the kit lenses and pop 'em in with a little superglue.
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Florida, United States
Joined: December 27, 2001
KitMaker: 4,268 posts
Armorama: 2,804 posts
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2002 - 09:27 AM UTC
Paulo if you don't want the MV lenses or can't can't get em, a little aluminum foil, a drill bit, and some Future or clear gloss works good too.

Just drill out the kit supplied lense with the closest size bit leaving the rim of the head light intact. Using the same drill bit, (reverse side), I press it tightly to a small piece of foil, and with the tip of a sharp knife (xacto) slowly remove or cut around the bit so you end up with a little circle of foil equal to the diameter of the hole you drilled. Just use a tiny bit of glue and push it into the lense's hole you made. Let it dry a little while, than put a small drop of Future or clear gloss onto the foil. Viola!
Hope this helps a bit for you.
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European Union
Joined: February 15, 2002
KitMaker: 2,289 posts
Armorama: 1,231 posts
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2002 - 03:02 PM UTC
I tried two ways, that both work quite well.

If the light is incorporated in the kit, the above technigue applies. You can use a drop of transparent resin or epoxy glue, too. Be careful, some glues may react with (read MELT) the plastic of your kit ! Try them on a piece of sprue first ! Instead of aluminium foil, I use mylar, the fancy shiny metal gift-wrapping stuff
If the light comes separately (Most AFV's...), you can copy the kit's light with transparent resin. The normal procedures for resin copying apply, but you use transparent resin instead of the traditional PU resin.
The result is a perfect copy of the original part, but transparent.
Even if the lights are incorporated in another part of the kit, you can do this with the whole kit part and paint the transparent copy as if it would be a normal kit part. Most smaller kit parts can be easily copied.
This gives by far the best possible results. You stick a piece of mylar or alu foil behind the transparent part, and you have superb headlights.
There are two drawbacks to this procedure.
1° cost. If you are not familiar with pooring resin and not equiped for it, it would not be worth investing in all that just to make better headlights. Even if you are equiped for it, you need transparent resin (see post on transparent resins in this forum). This often comes in 500 ml jars, a bit over the top just to make two itsy pitsy headlights...

2* time. small transparent resin parts take at least a week - if not a month - to harden completely. You NEED this patience, or you will end up with a sticky part and a dirty mold and you'll have to start all over again.
If messing around with resins, silicones and new techniques are the things that get you going, you WILL be happy with this technique !

The headlights on the M35A2 below are cast in PU resin with a piece of mylar in the back for reflection.

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South Australia, Australia
Joined: January 09, 2002
KitMaker: 1,958 posts
Armorama: 1,003 posts
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2002 - 07:24 PM UTC
Thanks guys!
That's what I was looking for!
Tj, it's hard to get the MV lenses around here, so it's possibility is discardded
Ken, I used the method you mentionned from time to time, but I didn't get the results I was specting for, maybe I have to try a little harder!
Jan, it's a good point to start with, but I didn't work with resin and molds yet, I'm planning to start it out, since you got a plenty of possilbilities casting our own parts, so it's for a near future!
Cheers! And thanks again!